tv AIPAC Policy Conference Representatives Hoyer and Mc Carthy CSPAN March 29, 2017 12:51pm-1:07pm EDT
horizon of uncertainty i remain optimistic. and should you. that is because for all of the challenges we face here and around the globe, one thing, one vital thing remans constant. our unbreakable alliance with israel. [ applause ] so i want to say a final thank you. thank you for being here. thank you for using your voice for good and on behalf of congress, thank you for sending a clear and unequivocal message to the world that the united states stands with israel now, tomorrow and always! god bless you. god bless the united states of america. god bless israel. good night! thank you! thank you. ♪
♪ >> please welcome aipac managing director for policy and politics, arnie christianson. >> good evening. our next guests are two leaders in congress who show how democrats and republicans can cooperate to strengthen u.s./israel relationship. they work closely in the house of the represent fs and just last week they co-sponsored new legislation to impose sanctions against iran for its ballistic missile program. [ applause ] they also make time to travel to israel every two years with new members of congress to see firsthand the challenges israel faces. and they continue to join us on
this stage for which we are very grateful. please join me in welcoming house majority leader kevin mccarthy and democratic minority whip steny hoyer. ♪ ♪ >> welcome. >> thank you. good to be here, as always. >> with everything you have to manage, it must be a relief to be in front of an audience that just wants you to bring peace to the middle east, huh? >> it's a good thing to be with this audience, whatever they want. [ applause ] >> absolutely.
you know, two years ago the three of us were in israel together. and we had lunch together. i remember it clearly. with over 40 members of congress, most of them fresh men. and with a bunch of young, israeli soldiers, many of whom had come from america, come to israel to defend israel and they had lumplg with their members of congress. >> arnie, i have many phone with me and i have a picture of a young idf woman who was with us and they were really excited. and i want to thank kevin mccarthy. we have done these trips a lot. that was really the first time we had done them together. we overlapped and we had the opportunity to show what i think is critically important to show, and that is that as paul ryan just said, it's the congress. not democrats and republicans. it's the congress. kevin and i worked very closely to make sure that happens. >> i want to -- when i first became leader, first thing i did
is go down and see steny. we may debate but we're still friends when the debate is over. and is there one issue that actually strengthens our friendship it's israel. we make sure that issue is a bipartisan issue. [ applause ] but so many times on these trips where we bring fresh men to israel, democrats would go one week, republicans go the other. i said, why don't we overlap a few days? we started that last year. and i will tell you what. it's refreshing. because they see the exact same thing but they bond together just as we bond together in our votes and we're going to do it again this summer, as well, with all the freshmen going. >> outstanding. you know, tell us about what it means to have freshmen there in israel, both for them to understand the issue and for building the bipartisan support for israel. >> well, you can hear all about
and they understand the challenges of israel. but you do in the know it until you see it. until you look over, you're sitting with an iron dome and looking into gaza or the narrowness within nine miles. it is a life changing event. and when we sit there, the night before the departing, there's not a dry eye in the place. they were passionate before. but as we have all these fiscal challenges, i will guarantee you, i will take my most conservative member and they'll want to cut anything in the budget except the aid to israel because they know the importance of it. [ applause ] >> very true. >> you know, and then when they come back to congress, there's a chance to work together in a bipartisan way, the two of you lead cop-sponsors on legislatio to push back. tell us about that legislation. >> you hear. that's kevin and i co-sponsoring. we have mr. royce who's the
republican chair of the committee and mr. engel who's the ranking. the democrat on the committee. i think one of the very, very positive things for all of you must be that on the foreign affairs xhilt tee, you see a lot of controversy, a lot of confrontation, disagreement, philosophical and political disagreement in almost every committee but you do not see that with mr. elliott and mr. royce. they are working together. and kevin and i are glad to work with them. i've had the opportunity of working with a number of lead earls through the years. it seems to me i sort of stay there and the others seem to come and go but roy blount and i work closely together. tom delay and i'm glad to be working and of course eric cantor and i worked very closely together and i'm glad kevin is keeping that tradition up and that we're working together on behalf of issues that clearly we have an agreement on.
clearly we believe are critical to the national security of the united states of america. as well as to israel. the partnership that has maintained now since 1948 is one that's going to continue. i know if kevin and i have anything to say about it as long as we're in the congress and working together. >> yeah. well, there's a good point, too. and i kind of miss not being in the round. this kind of thing was fast. but iran has tested 14 times ballistics missiles. >> right. >> no other country has spent that much money without trying the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. that's why this bill is so critical at this juncture and, you know, i missed it. i didn't come in but how refreshing is it to have nikki haley? [ applause ] i love it when she tells the u.n. human rights council, they
need to change. think need to focus on human rights and start -- stop punishing israel for being a democracy. this is so refreshing for so many people inside congress. >> absolutely right. >> arnie, one of the message that is we need to send and why this legislation is so important, the jcpoa obviously has been controversial. it's in place. it's being followed now as speaker pointed out, it is relatively temporary. and what we need to do is send a clear message and this sanctions legislation will do that. that notwithstanding the agreement, on all that you do of a non-nuclear basis, we are going to step in quickly. the administration's going to do it. the congress is going to do it. to send a message that that activity is unacceptable. and we will respond and respond appropriately, vigorously and toughly. [ applause ]
>> and all of these activists will be showing up at your offices on tuesday morning to make that case, as well. >> good. >> we're talking about the reset with iran but there's also other ways that the relationship with zraelgs continues to develop. water's so important to your state. sometimes too much. lately maybe too much. tell us about the possibility of israel and the u.s. working together closely on with water? >> this is key. there's so many places to bond with israel coming to security but coming to technology, innovation, especially water, how precious that is. look, i'm from california. and sometimes we have -- yeah. we should applaud that. [ applause ] >> larger than maryland. we have a good crowd here, i'm sure. >> you don't see many republicans from california. that's why it's more important. but -- [ applause ] california's actually gone into
a pact with israel because they know how precious water is. but look at what innovation they have been able to do. being able to bring saltwater into freshwater. but one thing i want to teach california is not to waste the water and send it out to the ocean so when we're there, especially from the ag community and others, drip irrigation and others, we bond together and it only makes our two countries stronger. when we're able to have that innovation, be able to find the preciousness of water, but what does water do? grows so much. and at the same time, it's going to grow our crops, going to grow the relationship stronger. >> absolutely. >> you know, arnie -- [ applause ] >> california obviously the world has an extraordinary need for potable, drinkable, healthy water. that's extraordinarily important. in maryland, one of the things we do is cyber security. >> right. >> we work a lot on cyber security. we have a cyber security center
at the university of maryland and national security agency -- >> in your state. >> in my state. we hope fbi coming to our state. but we have seen how important cyber security is. we have seen in it this past election. but we've known about it for a long period of time. and the partnership we have with israel which is, of course, one of the leading cyber security technology proponents in the world is we think very critically important. so there's so many areas as kevin points out where not only are we from a security stand point partners, but we have so much in common from technology, from business, from culture. that we cooperate in, as well. and that strengthens that relationship every day. >> absolutely. so let me close by asking something we bring up almost every year which is the assistance to israel and this year it's important not only 3.1 billion but the missile defense,
cooperative missile defense and at a year with a lot of talk of budget constraints, competing demands. within your own caucuses, what is the temperature on aid to israel and more broadly on an american role in the world and funding an american role in the world? >> well, i agree with kevin pointed out earlier that his most conservative member. but i think the overwhelming majority of the members of the house of representatives and the united states senate agree that investing in israel is an investment in america's security. america's values. america's future. [ applause ] now, i want to caution, though, everybody here. there has been a proposal, i do not know whether that will be followed through, of cutting very severely our foreign aid. i do not believe that that will adversely affect israel but what i do believe to the extent that
it's further and further cut and israel is a larger and larger percentage it will then be a focus and may well raise controversy, not that we don't need to support israel. but that we have so little going to other places where we need to maintain security. general mattis has pointed that out. kevin, i know you have discussed it, as well. so we got to make sure that not only do we meet our obligations which we have agreed to under the obama administration, agreed to with the congress of the united states, the 3.3 and the half a billion for the missiles. >> right. >> i think paul said about iron dome being so spectacular. he's absolutely correct. what a success we had there. what a great investment that was. but we need to make sure, not only does israel's support remain strong, but that we also remain strong with other nations not only in the middle east but around the world to make sure that we maintain our alliances
that will be good for israel and good for us. >> congressman mccarthy? >> it's true we have a financial challenge. but if we all crave peace in the middle east why don't you help the only democracy in the middle east that believes in freedom, gives people the rights? that's the place we need to be. when's even more importantly when we do, we look at our budget, why don't we fund our friends first? that's why israel will always win and be the first investment. >> thank you. thank you. congressman mccarthy, congressman hoyer. >> i know kevin and i want to thank all of you because what you do every day, every week, every month, every year to make sure that our friends and our neighbors and members of the congress know exactly what the issues are, how critically important they are and give us good advice and counsel how to